Cable bills are higher, and ratings are down. Welcome to the sports network bubble. Here's the WSJ: "The fees cable operators pay to carry sports networks have risen 113% since 2002, according to Kagan. Last year cable operators paid regional sports networks on average $2.47 per subscriber to carry their channels as part of their digital basic programming, up from $1.12 in 2002. Fees for ESPN and ESPN2 jumped to a combined $5.71 in 2012, from $1.84 in 2002, according to Kagan."